We can all hear our dentists echoing in our head: You should brush your teeth twice a day. You should floss once every day. And even for those of us who brush our teeth religiously, flossing is often ignored, especially because we don’t feel immediate change after flossing like we do brushing.
However, to maintain the strong, white teeth you want, it’s imperative that you floss every day. Here are just a few reasons why.
Floss Daily, Protect Your Teeth and Gums
Sure, you visit Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins every six months for a regular cleaning
and you brush twice daily. So what’s the big deal? Why do you need to add yet another step to your daily routine?
Brushing Doesn’t Get Between the Teeth
There are some things brushing does well, but one thing it can’t do is reach between the teeth. Brushing harder won’t help; in fact, brushing roughly can damage your tooth enamel and gums, and can lead to painful consequences like tooth sensitivity. By coupling flossing with a light-handed, circular brushing method, you’ll improve the strength of your teeth and get those hard-to-reach areas.
Your Gums Might Bleed at First, But Not for Long
For the first few days of regular flossing, your gums might bleed. That’s partly because your gums aren’t used to flossing and partly because you probably have gum disease affecting these overlooked areas. However, you’ll quickly see the fruits of your labor. Your teeth and gums will strengthen and heal, stopping the bleeding.
You’ll Be Able to Spot Problems Quicker
Taking better care of your teeth also means paying closer attention to them. By flossing every day, you’ll spot issues earlier on – though, by flossing, you’re reducing your chances of certain issues to begin with.
You’re Reducing Your Risk of Serious Health Problems
Plaque buildup can be deadly. No, we’re not just being dramatic. Periodontal disease bacteria can cause teeth to fall out and has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and many more diseases. Flossing removes the plaque between your teeth and gums, reducing those bad bacteria.
Flossing Pro Tips From the Pros
Just like brushing, certain flossing methods are more effective than others. Here are just a few ways you can brush like a professional:
- Use your thumbs. Take about 18 inches of dental floss and wrap either side around your middle fingers, gripping the floss between the thumb and knuckle of your pointer fingers.
- Curve the floss around your teeth. Contour the floss to the tooth and hug the sides of each tooth to gently remove plaque.
- Use a clean section for each tooth. To ensure you’re not just moving plaque from one tooth to another, use a clean section of floss for every tooth.
- Use the right floss. If you have gaps between your teeth, you’ll need thicker floss. If you don’t have the range of motion to use both hands, buy a reusable floss holder. That way, you can reach all of your teeth with just one hand.
- Don’t snap the floss downward. If your teeth are very close together, it may be hard to work the floss between them. Be very gentle, as you don’t want to force the floss downward and damage your gum line. Use a back-and-forth motion to gently work the floss between your teeth.
- Start slow. Naturally, when you first start to floss, your gums may feel tender or bleed, so start out slow and deliberate.
But Wait… There’s More!
Brushing twice daily and flossing once every day are important ways to keep your teeth and gums strong, healthy and pain-free. However, there’s still more you need to do in order to maintain great oral health: Come see us. We’ll check up on your teeth and provide a deeper clean than you can achieve at home.
To schedule an appointment with Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins at Collins Dentistry and Aesthetics in Spokane, please call us today at (509) 532-1111 or make an appointment online.